Dominion defamation trial against Fox to proceed Tuesday after delay

 

A dominion defamation trial against Fox to proceed Tuesday after a delay

Dominion Voting Systems, one of the largest election equipment manufacturers in the United States, is preparing for a historic defamation case against Fox News. The trial is set to proceed on Tuesday after a delay in May.

Dominion filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Fox News in March, alleging that the cable news network aired a “disinformation campaign” targeted at Dominion in the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. election. The lawsuit claims that the network “recklessly disregarded the truth” in its coverage of Dominion.

The defamation lawsuit is just one part of Dominion’s larger legal campaign against those who spread conspiracy theories about the company’s election equipment. The company has filed similar lawsuits against Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and several conservative media outlets.

The trial against Fox News was scheduled to begin in August, but the company requested a delay. According to Dominion’s lawyers, it was a “stall tactic” by Fox to prolong the lawsuit and avoid an embarrassing defeat.

The lawsuit alleges that Fox News spread a false narrative about Dominion’s voting machines being rigged and manipulated to help Joe Biden win the election. The suit also claims that Fox News gave airtime to several guests who made defamatory statements about Dominion without evidence.

Dominion’s lawyers say that Fox News made numerous false statements about the company in multiple segments and that the network’s anchors and guests knew they were spreading false information. The lawsuit accuses several Fox News personalities of acting with “actual malice” towards Dominion, meaning that they knew their statements were false but made them anyway.

The trial is set to be a major test of the legal limits of media companies when it comes to spreading false information. Dominion’s lawyers have argued that Fox News, as a news organization, has a responsibility to report accurate information, and that the network breached that responsibility when it aired false claims about Dominion.

Fox News, meanwhile, has argued that its coverage was protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and the press. Fox’s lawyers also argued that the network’s coverage was based on valid news sources and that it was presenting the opinions of others, which it was entitled to do.

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The trial is likely to be tense and high-stakes for both sides. Dominion has called several prominent figures to testify, including Fox News host Sean Hannity and former President Donald Trump. The former president has long spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, and his lawyers have argued that Dominion’s lawsuit is an attempt to silence him and his supporters.

Fox News, on the other hand, has accused Dominion of trying to squash critical reporting about the election. In a recent court filing, Fox’s lawyers wrote that “the First Amendment does not permit a private plaintiff to use the courts to silence public debate on important political issues.”

The trial comes amid a wider debate over the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories. Many U.S. lawmakers and experts have warned that the erosion of trust in institutions like the media and the electoral process could have serious long-term consequences for American democracy.The Top 50 Highest Currency in Africa: A Comprehensive Guide

Dominion’s lawsuit against Fox News is part of a broader effort to fight back against such trends. Whether or not the company succeeds in court, its legal campaign is likely to send a message to others who may be tempted to spread false information about the electoral process.

For now, all eyes are on Tuesday’s trial, which promises to be one of the most closely-watched legal battles in recent years. The outcome could have far-reaching implications for both Fox News and Dominion, as well as for the wider media landscape and American democracy as a whole.

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14 Comments

  1. ** Here’s the article text for anyone who needs it… Posting in case the ‘soft paywall’ (new to me) prevents anyone from accessing.

    Helen Coster

    WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) -The trial in the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox Corp and Fox News will proceed with jury selection resuming on Tuesday rather than on Monday as previously scheduled, a judge said on Monday.

    Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis did not provide a reason for the delay in the trial, stemming from Fox’s airing of false claims that the Denver-based company’s machines were used to rig the 2020 U.S. presidential election in favor of Democrat Joe Biden over Republican-then President Donald Trump.
    A source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday that Fox had been pursuing a possible settlement. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal also reported that Fox was pursuing settlement talks, citing sources.
    After jury selection, which began last week, is completed on Tuesday, opening statements to the 12-member panel would then be scheduled to take place on Tuesday, the judge said.

    Dominion sued Fox Corp and Fox News. The trial is one of the most closely watched U.S. defamation cases in years, involving a leading cable news outlet with numerous conservative commentators. The primary question for jurors is whether Fox knowingly spread false information or recklessly disregarded the truth, the standard of “actual malice” that Dominion must show to prevail in a defamation case.

    Rupert Murdoch, the chair of Fox Corp, is set to testify during the trial, along with a parade of Fox executives and on-air hosts, including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro.

    The trial is considered a test of whether Fox’s coverage crossed the line between ethical journalism and the pursuit of ratings, as Dominion alleges and Fox denies.
    Fox has said the $1.6 billion in damages being sought by Dominion is unrealistic and based on flawed economic modeling. An expert report commissioned by Dominion attributed scores of lost contracts to Fox’s coverage, though much of the report remains under seal.
    Fox Corp reported nearly $14 billion in annual revenue last year.

    Fox claimed in filing on Sunday that Dominion had agreed to knock off more than $500 million of its damages claim. Fox’s filing cited a Friday email from a Dominion lawyer saying that Dominion would not pursue its lost profit claim at the trial.

    A Dominion spokesperson disputed that characterization on Monday, saying in an email that the company’s damages have not changed.
    Dominion has said Fox’s conduct was damaging to American democracy and that the network must be held accountable, while Fox said on Friday that Dominion’s lawsuit was a threat to press freedom.
    Davis on Wednesday sanctioned Fox News, handing Dominion a fresh chance to gather evidence after Fox withheld records until the eve of the trial.
    The evidence to be presented in the trial includes recordings of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, saying in pre-taped Fox appearances that he did not have any evidence to back up the false allegations of election rigging by Dominion. The recordings were made by a former Fox producer named Abby Grossberg in her separate lawsuit against the network.
    Davis said he would also very likely tap an outside investigator to probe Fox’s late disclosure of the evidence and take whatever steps necessary to remedy the situation, which he described as troubling.
    Dominion has said defamatory statements were aired on Fox shows including “Sunday Morning Futures,” “Lou Dobbs Tonight” and “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” Dominion alleges that Fox staff, ranging from members of the newsroom to the board of directors, knew the statements were false but continued to air them to avoid losing viewers to far-right outlets.

    Dominion also cites evidence that some hosts and producers thought the guests spreading the false statements, including former Trump attorneys Giuliani and Sidney Powell, could not back up their allegations.
    Fox had argued that coverage of the vote-rigging claims was inherently newsworthy and protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of press freedom. Davis rejected that argument in a ruling last month.

    Fox has also said that Dominion cannot pin actual malice on the individuals Dominion has said were responsible for the defamatory statements.
    Fox has said Dominion must prove that a “superior officer” at the network or its parent company “ordered, participated in, or ratified” wrongdoing. The network has argued that doubts about the claims among certain individuals cannot be attributed to the organization as a whole.

    Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Will Dunham

  2. Really hoping Dominion doesn’t accept a settlement on this. The amount of evidence they’ve uncovered is well beyond enough to win this case. Being paid off is not going to change anything. Arguably, neither will winning in court. But it makes a bolder statement.

  3. Remember everyone, Dominion and Smartmatic are different companies each with massive lawsuits against Fox and other conservative outlets. Even if Dominion’s lawsuit ends with a settlement, that doesn’t mean Smartmatic will take the same route.

    Fox is in for a very rough time and I do not feel the least bit sorry for them.

  4. I mean people that believe that systems like this have a back door by the company to do what they want as needed are the same people that believe MetaSploit is an actual thing or that companies should be held accountable if a phantom exploit isn’t patched.

    There were no more exploits in the system that are widely known about and abused than Metasploit or Kali Linux existing. They are just fever dreams by the far right.

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